1,781 research outputs found

    Multi-modalities in classroom learning environments

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    This paper will present initial findings from the second phase of a Horizon 2020 funded project, Managing Affective-learning Through Intelligent Atoms and Smart Interactions (MaTHiSiS). The project focusses on the use of different multi-modalities used as part of the project in classrooms across Europe. The MaTHiSiS learning vision is to develop an integrated learning platform, with re-usable learning components which will respond to the needs of future education in primary, secondary, special education schools, vocational environments and learning beyond the classroom. The system comprises learning graphs which attach individual learning goals to the system. Each learning graph is developed from a set of smart learning atoms designed to support learners to achieve progression. Cutting edge technologies are being used to identify the affect state of learners and ultimately improve engagement of learners. Much research identifies how learners engage with learning platforms (c.f. [1], [2], [3]). Not only do e-learning platforms have the capability to engage learners, they provide a vehicle for authentic classroom and informal learning [4] enabling ubiquitous and seamless learning [5] within a non-linear environment. When experiencing more enjoyable interaction learners become more confident and motivated to learn and become less anxious, especially those with learning disabilities or at risk of social exclusion [6], [13]. [7] identified the importance of understanding the affect state of learners who may experience emotions such as 'confusion, frustration, irritation, anger, rage, or even despair' resulting in disengaging with learning. The MaTHiSiS system will use a range of platform agents such as NAO robots and Kinects to measure multi-modalities that support the affect state: facial expression analysis and gaze estimation [8], mobile device-based emotion recognition [9], skeleton motion using depth sensors and speech recognition. Data has been collected using multimodal learning analytics developed for the project, including annotated multimodal recordings of learners interacting with the system, facial expression data and position of the learner. In addition, interviews with teachers and learners, from mainstream education as well as learners with profound multiple learning difficulties and autism, have been carried out to measure engagement and achievement of learners. Findings from schools based in the United Kingdom, mainstream and special schools will be presented and challenges shared

    On Approximation of the Eigenvalues of Perturbed Periodic Schrodinger Operators

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    This paper addresses the problem of computing the eigenvalues lying in the gaps of the essential spectrum of a periodic Schrodinger operator perturbed by a fast decreasing potential. We use a recently developed technique, the so called quadratic projection method, in order to achieve convergence free from spectral pollution. We describe the theoretical foundations of the method in detail, and illustrate its effectiveness by several examples.Comment: 17 pages, 2 tables and 2 figure

    Development of Stresses in Cohesionless Poured Sand

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    The pressure distribution beneath a conical sandpile, created by pouring sand from a point source onto a rough rigid support, shows a pronounced minimum below the apex (`the dip'). Recent work of the authors has attempted to explain this phenomenon by invoking local rules for stress propagation that depend on the local geometry, and hence on the construction history, of the medium. We discuss the fundamental difference between such approaches, which lead to hyperbolic differential equations, and elastoplastic models, for which the equations are elliptic within any elastic zones present .... This displacement field appears to be either ill-defined, or defined relative to a reference state whose physical existence is in doubt. Insofar as their predictions depend on physical factors unknown and outside experimental control, such elastoplastic models predict that the observations should be intrinsically irreproducible .... Our hyperbolic models are based instead on a physical picture of the material, in which (a) the load is supported by a skeletal network of force chains ("stress paths") whose geometry depends on construction history; (b) this network is `fragile' or marginally stable, in a sense that we define. .... We point out that our hyperbolic models can nonetheless be reconciled with elastoplastic ideas by taking the limit of an extremely anisotropic yield condition.Comment: 25 pages, latex RS.tex with rspublic.sty, 7 figures in Rsfig.ps. Philosophical Transactions A, Royal Society, submitted 02/9

    Large changes in Great Britain’s vegetation and agricultural land-use predicted under unmitigated climate change

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    This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from IOP Publishing via the DOI in this recordData availability: The parameter values used for JULES is available from the suite u-ao645 and branch ‘full_UK’ on the Rosie repository: https://code.metoffice.gov.uk/trac/roses-u (registration required). The data that support the findings of this study are openly available at DOI.The impact of climate change on vegetation including agricultural production has been the focus of many studies. Climate change is expected to have heterogeneous effects across locations globally, and the diversity of land uses characterising Great Britain (GB) presents a unique opportunity to test methods for assessing climate change effects and impacts. GB is a relatively cool and damp country, hence, the warmer and generally drier growing season conditions projected for the future are expected to increase arable production. Here we use state-of-the-art, kilometre-scale climate change scenarios to drive a land surface model (JULES; Joint UK Land Environment Simulator) and an ECOnometric AGricultural land use model (ECO-AG). Under unmitigated climate change, by the end of the century, the growing season in GB is projected to get >5°C warmer and 140 mm drier on average. Rising levels of atmospheric CO2 are predicted to counteract the generally negative impacts of climate change on vegetation productivity in JULES. Given sufficient precipitation, warming favours higher value arable production over grassland agriculture, causing a predicted westward expansion of arable farming in ECO-AG. However, drying in the East and Southeast, without any CO2 fertilisation effect, is severe enough to cause a predicted reversion from arable to grassland farming. Irrigation, if implemented, could maintain this land in arable production. However, the predicted irrigation demand of ~200 mm (per growing season) in many locations is comparable to annual predicted runoff, potentially demanding large-scale redistribution of water between seasons and/or across the country. The strength of the CO2 fertilisation effect emerges as a crucial uncertainty in projecting the impact of climate change on GB vegetation, especially farming land-use decisions.Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)Joint UK BEIS/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programm

    The effects of climatic fluctuations and extreme events on running water ecosystems

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    Most research on the effects of environmental change in freshwaters has focused on incremental changes in average conditions, rather than fluctuations or extreme events such as heatwaves, cold snaps, droughts, floods or wildfires, which may have even more profound consequences. Such events are commonly predicted to increase in frequency, intensity and duration with global climate change, with many systems being exposed to conditions with no recent historical precedent. We propose a mechanistic framework for predicting potential impacts of environmental fluctuations on running water ecosystems by scaling up effects of fluctuations from individuals to entire ecosystems. This framework requires integration of four key components: effects of the environment on individual metabolism, metabolic and biomechanical constraints on fluctuating species interactions, assembly dynamics of local food webs and mapping the dynamics of the meta-community onto ecosystem function. We illustrate the framework by developing a mathematical model of environmental fluctuations on dynamically assembling food webs. We highlight (currently limited) empirical evidence for emerging insights and theoretical predictions. For example, widely supported predictions about the effects of environmental fluctuations are: high vulnerability of species with high per capita metabolic demands such as large-bodied ones at the top of food webs; simplification of food web network structure and impaired energetic transfer efficiency; reduced resilience and top-down relative to bottom-up regulation of food web and ecosystem processes. We conclude by identifying key questions and challenges that need to be addressed to develop more accurate and predictive bio-assessments of the effects of fluctuations, and implications of fluctuations for management practices in an increasingly uncertain world

    General Practitioners' views on the provision of nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion.

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    BACKGROUND: Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) and a new drug, bupropion, are licensed in several countries as aids to smoking cessation. General practitioners (GPs) play a crucial role in recommending or prescribing these medications. In the UK there has been discussion about whether the medications should be reimbursable by the National Health Service (NHS). This study assessed English GPs' attitudes towards reimbursement of NRT and bupropion. METHODS: Postal survey of a randomly selected national sample of GPs; 376 GPs completed the questionnaire after one reminder; effective response rate: 53%. There was no difference between the responses of GPs who responded to the initial request and those who responded only after a reminder suggesting minimal bias due to non-response. RESULTS: Attitudes of GPs were remarkably divided on most issues relating to the medications. Forty-three percent thought that bupropion should not be on NHS prescription while 42% thought that it should be (15% did not know); Fifty percent thought that NRT should not be on NHS prescription while 42% thought it should be (8% did not know). Requiring that smokers attend behavioural support programmes to be eligible to receive the medications on NHS prescription made no appreciable difference to the GPs' views. GPs were similarly divided on whether having the medications reimbursable would add unacceptably to their workload or offer a welcome opportunity to discuss smoking with their patients. A principal components analysis of responses to the individual questions on NRT and bupropion revealed that GPs' attitudes could be understood in terms of a single 'pro-con' dimension accounting for 53% of the total variance which made no distinction between the two medications. CONCLUSIONS: GPs in England appear to be divided in their attitudes to medications to aid smoking cessation and appear not to discriminate in their views between different types of medication or different aspects of their use. This suggests that their attitudes are generated by quite fundamental values. Addressing these values may be important in encouraging GPs to adhere more closely to national and international guidelines

    Securing recruitment and obtaining informed consent in minority ethnic groups in the UK

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    Background: Previous health research has often explicitly excluded individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds due to perceived cultural and communication difficulties, including studies where there might be language/literacy problems in obtaining informed consent. This study addressed these difficulties by developing audio-recorded methods of obtaining informed consent and recording data. This report outlines 1) our experiences with securing recruitment to a qualitative study investigating alternative methods of data collection, and 2) the development of a standardised process for obtaining informed consent from individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds whose main language does not have an agreed written form. Methods: Two researchers from South Asian backgrounds recruited adults with Type 2 diabetes whose main language was spoken and not written, to attend a series of focus groups. A screening tool was used at recruitment in order to assess literacy skills in potential participants. Informed consent was obtained using audio-recordings of the patient information and recording patients' verbal consent. Participants' perceptions of this method of obtaining consent were recorded. Results: Recruitment rates were improved by using telephone compared to face-to-face methods. The screening tool was found to be acceptable by all potential participants. Audio-recorded methods of obtaining informed consent were easy to implement and accepted by all participants. Attrition rates differed according to ethnic group. Snowballing techniques only partly improved participation rates. Conclusion: Audio-recorded methods of obtaining informed consent are an acceptable alternative to written consent in study populations where literacy skills are variable. Further exploration of issues relating to attrition is required, and a range of methods may be necessary in order to maximise response and participation

    Fiddling while the ice melts? How organizational scholars can take a more active role in the climate change debate

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    The debate over anthropogenic climate change or the idea that human activities are altering the physical climate of the planet continues to rage amid seemingly irreconcilable differences, both within the developed world and between developed and less developed countries. With high uncertainty, rival worldviews, and wide diversity of meaning attached to the expression, climate change has become a key narrative within which local and transnational issues – economic, social, and political – are framed and contested. The field is fraught with controversies regarding causes and consequences, as well as different attitudes toward risks, technologies, and economic and social well-being for different groups. Parties also dispute how to share responsibility for reducing emissions – whether the issue primarily needs market, regulatory, technological, or behavioral solutions. Climate change is many things to many people. Competing interests negotiate over its interpretation and utilize various strategies to promote practices that advance their own understandings regarding climate change and its governance

    The glacial geomorphology of the Lago Buenos Aires and Lago Pueyrredón ice lobes of central Patagonia

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    <p>This paper presents a glacial geomorphological map of landforms produced by the Lago General Carrera–Buenos Aires and Lago Cochrane–Pueyrredón ice lobes of the former Patagonian Ice Sheet. Over 35,000 landforms were digitized into a Geographical Information System from high-resolution (<15 m) satellite imagery, supported by field mapping. The map illustrates a rich suite of ice-marginal glacigenic, subglacial, glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine landforms, many of which have not been mapped previously (e.g. hummocky terrain, till eskers, eskers). The map reveals two principal landform assemblages in the central Patagonian landscape: (i) an assemblage of nested latero-frontal moraine arcs, outwash plains or corridors, and inset hummocky terrain, till eskers and eskers, which formed when major ice lobes occupied positions on the Argentine steppe; and (ii) a lake-terminating system, dominated by the formation of glaciolacustrine landforms (deltas, shorelines) and localized ice-contact glaciofluvial features (e.g. outwash fans), which prevailed during deglaciation.</p

    Shifts in national land use and food production in Great Britain after a climate tipping point

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    This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Nature Research via the DOI in this recordData availability: The modelled output data that support the findings of this study are openly available from: Smith, G. S. & Ritchie, P. D. L. (NERC Environmental Information Data Centre: 639 doi.org/10.5285/e1c1dbcf-2f37-429b-af19-a730f98600f6, 2019).Climate change is expected to impact agricultural land use. Steadily accumulating changes in temperature and water availability can alter the relative profitability of different farming activities and promote land use changes. There is also potential for high-impact ‘climate tipping points’ where abrupt, non-linear change in climate occurs - such as the potential collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Here, using data from Great Britain, we develop a methodology to analyse the impacts of a climate tipping point on land use and economic outcomes for agriculture. We show that economic/land use impacts of such a tipping point are likely to include widespread cessation of arable farming with losses of agricultural output, an order of magnitude larger than the impacts of climate change without an AMOC collapse. The agricultural effects of AMOC collapse could be ameliorated by technological adaptations such as widespread irrigation, but the amount of water required and the costs appear prohibitive in this instance.Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)Alan Turing Institut
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